2021 Mid-Year Review of Ministry of the Solicitor GeneralPublished on July 08, 2021
Following a successful 2021 spring legislative session which ended on June 3, as the Parliamentary Assistant to the Solicitor General, I would like to highlight some of the successes of the Ministry over the first half of the year:
- Introduced and passed the Combatting Human Trafficking Act with Ontario Ministry of the Status of Women to provide new abilities for police to quickly investigate cases of trafficking when time is of the essence. It complements our $307 million anti-trafficking strategy and fulfills a key commitment from Premier Ford to take a hard look at the legislative options available.
- Continued supporting the provincial response to COVID-19 with Ontario Ministry of Health, including the effective and equitable distribution of COVID-19 vaccines across the province with the leadership of the COVID-19 Vaccine Distribution Task Force.
- Invested $2.6 million into 26 projects that tackle discrimination and address an increase in police-reported hate crimes. This includes boosting the grant funding from the originally planned $1.7 million to further the fight against racism and hate.
- Along with the Ministry of Transportation of Ontario and the Ontario Provincial Police, leading the way to a robust oversight system for Ontario’s towing industry and a move to crack down on bad actors so that public safety is maintained on our roads and highways.
- Supporting the mental health of Ontario’s first responders and public safety personnel through the establishment of collaborative teams of those on the frontlines of police, fire, corrections, and paramedics to lead change that addresses the stigma of those struggling with mental health challenges, achieves a healthier work-life balance, promotes mental health resiliency, and builds awareness of supports, treatments and recovery options.
- Invested $5 million into Ontario’s 441 municipal fire services to support their training and fire safety inspections during COVID-19. This represents the first new provincial funding to the fire sector in over 15 years.
- Strengthened Ontario’s correctional system through a contraband strategy to keep staff and inmates safe. This includes the introduction of Ion scanner technology at 11 institutions, as well as cell phone detectors in all institutions.
- With leadership from Ontario Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and Indigenous communities, supporting in the identification and investigation of Indian Residential School burial sites through the technical expertise housed at the Centre of Forensic Sciences and the Office of the Chief Coroner/Ontario Forensic Pathology Service.
- Launched a new $5 million Victim Support Grant to create and enhance critical partnerships between police services and organizations that support survivors of human trafficking and intimate partner violence. Applications are now open.
None of our Ministry's work would be possible without the continued support of our first responders, public safety personnel, civilians and community organizations. My deepest appreciation to all Ontarians!